Baylor forward Jalen Bridges (11) celebrates with forward Josh Ojianwuna (15) after making a shot at the buzzer to end the first half against Iowa State in the second round of the Big 12 Conference tournament on March 9 in Kansas City, Mo.
(Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
The Pick: Alabama has blown out evenly matched teams all year. The Crimson Tide will show no mercy.
Alabama 104, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 59
No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia
Thursday, at 9:15
Line: West Virginia 2.
Pick: The Big 12 gained so much respect as a league that seven-win West Virginia made it into the tournament. The Mountaineers will prove that the committee’s reading was correct.
West Virginia 66, Maryland 61
No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 12 Charleston
Thursday, at 12:10
Line: San Diego State from 5.
Chance: The Aztecs’ reward for having a great year and winning the Mountain West? A trip across the country to Orlando to beat a potential Cinderella with a 31-3 record. San Diego State’s defense will help it survive.
San Diego State 62, Charleston 58
No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 in Furman
Thursday, at 9:40
Line: Virginia 5.5.
Pick: The Cavaliers, even after winning the 2019 national title, will never let go of being the only No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed. It will be a familiar selection of upsets this week, but Tony Bennett’s side will find a way.
Virginia 66, Furman 59
No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 NC State
Friday, at 1:00 p.m
Line: Creighton 5.5.
Pick: The Bluejays have a deep, experienced roster that plays well. NC State depends on sudden-death basketball to dominate.
Creighton 73, NC State 60
No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara
Friday, at 10:30
Line: Baylor for 10.5.
Pick: There’s a window for the Gauchos to pull off an upset if Baylor’s guards are cold off the field. But after losing in the second round last year, the Bears will score.
Baylor 72, UC Santa Barbara 63
No. 7 Missouri and No. 10 Utah State
Thursday, at 10:40
Line: Utah State by 1.5.
Pick: The Aggies and Tigers rank in KenPom’s top 15 for offensive efficiency, so this should be fun to watch. Utah State has less of an eye on defense.
Utah State 76, Missouri 75
No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 Princeton
Thursday, at 13:10
Line: Arizona by 14.5.
Pick: Princeton will try to mud this one up and may have success early on, but Arizona is too explosive to stay on the floor for long.
Arizona 88, Princeton 65